Move over for first responders

Law enforcement and firefighters have a tough enough job as it is. Who wants to approach vehicles on the side of the road not knowing if occupants are up to something ill and have to worry about being struck by a vehicle coming from behind them? Who wants to help those involved in an accident […]

Law enforcement and firefighters have a tough enough job as it is.

Who wants to approach vehicles on the side of the road not knowing if occupants are up to something ill and have to worry about being struck by a vehicle coming from behind them? Who wants to help those involved in an accident and have to worry about working as traffic as screams by at 70 mph?

Nobody does.

It only makes sense when you see those flashing blue, red or yellow lights to slow down and get over. All 50 states have “Move Over” laws requiring drivers to change lanes or significantly slow down.

The “Move Over” law is for good reason. It is not there just so another citation can be written. They are there to protect those protecting us.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 135 law enforcement officers lost their lives in the line of duty last year. Of those 53 were killed in traffic-related incidents and 15 were killed while outside their vehicles. Prior to 2016, traffic-related incidents were the No. 1 cause of death for law enforcement officers for 15 of the last 20 years.

The crashes are preventable. It requires us to be aware, move over and give first responders the space they need to make it home to their loved ones at the end of the shift.

Being aware is key. We have to put down the phones and watch where we are going while driving. We have to be aware of possible hazards to keep ourselves and passengers safe while driving. We must also be aware of blue, red or yellow flashing lights signaling first responders are dealing with a situation on the roadside.

When we see those lights, move over and everyone sees their family again.